Wilton designates Drug-Free Safe Zones

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WILTON — Selectpersons on Tuesday unanimously approved designating several locations as drug-free safe zones.

Chief of Police Heidi Wilcox requested the designation and appropriate labeling for areas where children congregate, including licensed day care centers, a child-only fishing area, and Western Maine Play Museum.

Backus Memorial Field, and East Wilton, Village View, Bass, and McGillicuddy parks will also be designated.

“It’s a beginning list. Let’s protect where we know the kiddos are now,” Wilcox said.

Kineowatha Park is designated a drug-free safe zone, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

Wilcox said anticipated drug-forfeiture money could be used to purchase signs for areas already designated as drug-free safe zones, as well as newly designated areas. 

Selectperson Tom Saviello noted, “All it means is that if someone does deal drugs there it’s a greater level of infraction. This means it’s an enforcement issue and parents should still pay attention to children there.”

In other business, Greater Franklin Development Council Executive Director Charlie Woodworth approached the board regarding a request for a $40,000 appropriation from the Franklin County tax increment financing fund for economic development.

Woodworth said he was seeking a vote of confidence and letter in support of the council to present to county commissioners.

“We could use $40,000 to get us through 2018,” he said. “What this does is allows me to identify projects and write grants to fund those projects instead of trying to write grants to keep the doors open.”

Over the past 12 months, Woodward said the council has been actively working on community development, regional marketing and a cultural plan. A countywide broadband initiative plan was unveiled in January, he said.

“Our plan is unique and stands alone. It has been recognized by the board of ConnectME, as well as the USDA state office,” Woodworth said.

He said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will be at Franklin Memorial Hospital on Wednesday at noon to hear about the broadband effort.

“It’s a tremendous audience to have and we want him leaving that meeting understanding that we are going to be a safe investment,” Woodworth said.

Selectpersons voted 5-0 to write the letter of support.

A public hearing for junkyard permit renewals was held before the meeting. Permit renewals were approved for Collins Enterprises Inc., 445 Route 2 East; Michael Stickney, 54 Birch St.; and Haggan Enterprises, Wilkins Avenue.

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